Sub Pop Records pioneered the model, Radiohead varied the theme and Trent Reznor all but perfected it… Needless to say it’s not exactly the most original idea, but Third Man Records head Jack White has started a website subscription service called the Vault. Third Man is home to White’s bands The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and the recently formed The Dead Weather, which features The Kills’ vocalist Allison Mosshart.
“If you knew what we had laying around here, you’d crap your pants,” decrees The Vault’s chromatically pleasing website.
Soiled pants aside, membership will include exclusive video content, pre-sale concert tickets, podcasts, pay-per-view live concerts and other exclusive online content for $7 a month. A “premium membership” is also available for a rather hefty $20 a month (minimum three-month subscription), and also includes a quarterly limited edition 12-inch LP, seven-inch single and T-shirt.
Now for the small print part and do pay close attention to the upcoming deadline. Regular subscriptions are available anytime; platinum subscribers must apply during quarterly registration periods (the first window closes July 21st). Interested customers will receive a double album of The White Stripes’ Icky Thump featuring an exclusive mono mix, 180-gram vinyl and customized artwork, as well as a Third Man shirt and a 45 of The Dead Weather performing covers of “Forever My Queen” and “Outside".
So kudos and virtual hugs go out to Jack White III and the fine folks at Third Man Records. This appears to be the new market model for music distribution and will definitely appeal to diehard music fans of all stripes. I am certain that if you spoil them Jack and they will be yours for life.